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Measuring the wildland firefighting safety culture change - an analysis of entrapment rates from 1994 to 2013Author(s): Bob Loveless; Adam Hernandez
Source: In: Keane, Robert E.; Jolly, Matt; Parsons, Russell; Riley, Karin. Proceedings of the large wildland fires conference; May 19-23, 2014; Missoula, MT. Proc. RMRS-P-73. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 150-155.
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (665.3 KB)
DescriptionThe tragic fatality events of the mid-1990s and subsequent studies led to a concentrated effort to increase safety in the US federal wildland firefighter community beginning in 2000. Addressing human factors (HF) as a causal agent in accidents was a major focal point for this cultural change. To examine the effectiveness of this change, we hypothesized a decline in firefighter entrapment rates after implementation. Seasonal data on entrapment numbers and exposure amounts were collected on a national level for federal and non-federal wildland firefighting agencies for the years 1994-2013. The rate of wildfire entrapments (number/1000 person-hours fire line exposure) was estimated using generalized linear mixed models. Since program inception in 2000, rate ratio estimates indicate a 72 percent reduction in entrapment rates for federal wildland firefighters after controlling for variation in acres burned, number of fires and exposure time compared to pre-2000. A similar 46 percent reduction in entrapment rates was estimated for non-federal firefighters. Other non-HF changes such as improved weather forecasting may account for some of this reduction. We recommend continuation of the HF focus as a significant contributor increasing safety in the firefighting culture.
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CitationLoveless, Bob; Hernandez, Adam. 2015. Measuring the wildland firefighting safety culture change - an analysis of entrapment rates from 1994 to 2013. In: Keane, Robert E.; Jolly, Matt; Parsons, Russell; Riley, Karin. Proceedings of the large wildland fires conference; May 19-23, 2014; Missoula, MT. Proc. RMRS-P-73. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 150-155.
Keywordsfire ecology, fire behavior, smoke management, fire management, social and political consequences
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